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Half Of Somalia Needs Emergency Aid, Significant Deterioration In Food Security, Report Says

Somalia faces its “worst humanitarian crisis since civil war began in the country 18 years ago, with half of the country’s population in need of emergency aid,” the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU), a U.N. agency, said in a report (pdf) released Monday, Bloomberg reports (McLure, 8/25).

Reuters writes: “The number of people needing humanitarian aid in Somalia has leapt 17.5 percent in a year to 3.76 million or half of the Horn of Africa country’s population,” according to information from the report.

Cindy Holleman, chief technical advisor of the Somalia FSNAU, said the increase in the number of people needing help indicates that there is a significant deterioration in the emergency food security and nutrition situation. “More worrying is that the escalating fighting and conflict is occurring in the same areas where we are now recording the greatest problems of food access and malnutrition,” she said. The “epicentre of the crisis was in Mudug, Galgadud, Hiran and Bakool regions of south and central Somalia, which have been afflicted by drought for two and a half years,” Reuters writes (Wallis, 8/25).

The report shows that one in five Somali children is malnourished and 70,000 are “severely malnourished,” which means they could die without specialized medical care, Bloomberg reports (8/25).